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Forest cover in the LTLT Landscape is in decline; however, often the quantifiable state of forest cover fails to explain the qualitative rationale behind the numbers. My findings show that communities cut forests because they are attempting to become food secure. This is their home and this is also their culture. To these communities, the forests are comparable to Wal-Mart, a one-stop shop for all livelihood essentials. A fully stocked Wal-Mart in the USA is thus comparable to a fully functioning forest in the DRC, where more people shopping equates to less available supplies. Forests and Wal-Mart must be replenished in order to be sustainable. Items are restocked in Wal-Mart based on consumer demand. Thus, the conversation of restocking and replenishing forests must capture and include more information from the population of people who essentially live and die based on the state of forests and the goods and services provided by that healthy
state.

The impacts from deforestation occurring in LTLT extend beyond the removal of standing trees and global climate change; deforestation impacts animals, aquatic ecosystems, and human communities within the forest. Because of the omni-directional impacts of forest loss, the global nature of forest policies, and the history of failing to recognize and value local knowledge, impacts are largely unknown beyond the local scale. The identification of impacts occurring in local communities are considered last, even though numerous studies have argued that this needs to be first (Geist and Lambin, 2002; Carr et al., 2007; Bailis et al., 2015).

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 Recommendations

To improve responses to deforestation, it would help for management to focus on ensuring that voices from local communities are the driving forces of change in the system. For too long, the narrative remained that the past histories of the Congo are unconnected to the present events which are occupying the front pages of headlines today. This can be accomplished by fostering a larger commitment that pushes for local citizen engagement in forest communities. More local participation is likely to increase the understanding of reality for responders and thus improve responses. By the same token, this also means that local managers working in the landscape need more autonomy to earmark and administer funds. At all levels, actualized fiscal decentralization is required in the allocation, administration, and distribution of items that equate to financial capital or the resource curse will continue.

I recommend this study, along with the driver-pressure, state, and impacts studies from this dissertation, be placed into the larger context of DPSIR. The implications of using this holistic framework rooted in local responses will be most important for improving how the world understands life in these forests. The historical discounting of local voices and the gentrification of their homes increases the vulnerability of these human communities to sustain their livelihoods and livelihood insecurity reduces the ability of forests to stabilize climate for local ecosystem service provisions as well as global provisions.

Increasing the size, distribution, and urgency of delivery of management and conservation endeavors that are adaptive to conditions at the landscape level, can help to maintain forest resilience. Considering a holistic view of the timeline of all events should provide recommendations that speak to the uniquely complex politicalecological- historical context that explain deforestation in the Congo Basin, with an especially particular focus on the DRC. These recommendations should be targeted towards academia, government, and management and that seek to explore ways to provide operational and applied strategies to address One Health.

References

Anon, (2017). [online] Available at: http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v2/n3/full/nclimate1354.html?foxtrotcallback=true .

Topics, Sample Papers & Articles Online for Free. (2017). Deforestation Definition. [online] Available at: https://studymoose.com/deforestation-definition .

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